A recent posting to QRP-L about these batteries piqued my curiosity as I wondered if they may be a better option than alkalines for portable QRP. What I learned was that not only are the batteries unobtainable locally but that there is very little info about them online. Even Panasonic’s website is devoid of anything approaching useful. There are a few reviews that state that these batteries are roughly equivalent to alkalines when operating in a device that draws constant current. So I ordered some from DigiKey and decided to test them myself. Here are the results:
At room temperature, discharge time of both battery types is about the same – 3h 45m, but the Oxyride provides a higher voltage during the entire discharge time.
As the temperature drops, so do the batteries’ output and lifespan.
At 5 degrees F, the life of both batteries is dramatically shortened. The Oxyride continues to provide more voltage at the same current draw – and hence more power – for about 15 minutes longer than the alkaline.
I paid $1.20 for each Oxyride battery. If you buy 50 at a time, the price drops to 80 cents, about the same as premium alkaline batteries. Weight difference is negligible – .9oz for alkalines and .8oz for the Oxyrides.
The Oxyrides seem to last as long as the alkalines but will provide more power out of a QRP rig during that time due to the higher voltage per cell inherent in the Oxyrides. A specific radio that would benefit most from these batteries is the Elecraft KX1 with its internal 6-cell AA capacity which, with Oxyrides installed, would provide a higher RF output without the need for an external battery pack.